Gambling laws & tax system in Cameroon

Gambling and game of chance are legal in Cameroon. However, online is not explicitly regulated; there are series online gambling platform which offers gambling service even. Though you find minimal regulations put in place, this has paved the way for a website dedicated to gambling to install themselves comfortably with no restrictions in the country has no laws or regulations for or against any online gaming.

Unlike online gambling, land-based gambling in Cameroon is licensed and legal to operate in the country. However, the current gambling laws were written in 1989 and modified in 2004 under the Ministry of finance law, which is used to regulate the gambling business in Cameroon. It does, however, enable most forms of gambling in the country, including land-based casino, horse racing betting, football betting and lotteries.

Cameroon, the Central Africa country, boarded by Nigeria to the west and the north, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east; Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo to the south, with an estimated population of over 24 million people, while the capital city Yaounde 2.8 million resident. However, the government made a consistent effort in updating the outdated gambling law by proposing a new gambling law if it becomes legal. Including online gambling will become legal with the backing of the Minister; according to him he said it would be a great idea, now Minister of communication René Emmanuel Sadi.

However, based on the 2019 statistics by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization that determine the numbers of operators operating in the country report, there are 21 licensed gaming operators in Cameroon with the majority in the city of Douala and Yaounde. According to the statistics, there are seven casinos, five gaming machine halls and nine lottery and betting shops in Cameroon.

Operating a Gambling Business

Tax regulations for land-based gambling business, just like every other business, games of chance and entertainment pay taxes to the state and councils. The fee shall be paid by either a person or corporate bodies that operate a gambling business in Cameroon as a primary or a secondary activity. It can be for winnings in cash or fee meant purely for entertainment gambling.

However, the tax administration in Cameroon has put in place specific tax legislation for those operating casino in Cameroon. According to the provisions, proceeds of the game include counterpart games and club games for casino operator which the tax base comprises of all gross proceeds from the games as well as the tax on winnings. The operator is obliged to keep accounting records for each type of casino games. The terms defined by regulation. The tax rate that is applied is 15% on turnover made during the tax period. As said above, the tax base comprises all gross proceeds and tax on winnings. This rate applied to all forms of gambling in the country. The fee shall be deducted to obtain the taxable income. It won’t be exclusive of other taxes but specific to operators of this sector but to be paid to the Council area where they carry out their activities.

The legal person liable to pay the fee is obliged to declare at the competent tax service of the city where they carry out their operations. However, within the shortest of time, the advent of online gambling inventions, innovations and government intentions, we should be expecting to get changes and new regulations soon.

Article by Adeleye Awakan to know more about the African gambling industry, Consultant, please feel free to contact me on any of this channels: Email: [email protected] Linkedin: AdeleyeAwakan, Twitter: @AdeleyeAwakan, Instagram: adeleyeawakan

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